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Things to look out for before buying a refurbished phone system?

If you are looking for a second hand, used, refurbished or reconditioned phone systems for your company you can save valuable $$, they can be the most cost-effective alternative for businesses looking to have one but have a low cash flow or a tight budget. There are however things you need to look out for as it is a used system, it comes with a few risks such as general wear and tear. There is also concern about warranty and availability of parts should your system break down and even technical support. Considering all those things, would it still be a good alternative and offer you true savings?

Let’s discuss things further. If you are looking at used phone systems as an option, here are some things that you should consider.

Know the history of the phone system you are eyeing

Unlike other used items, a phone system does not have a written report about how it was used by the previous owners. You really can’t tell if there is something wrong with it or if there are technical problems. This can be an issue once you use the system. You might get poor call quality or even dropped calls. These problems will certainly affect the way you communicate with your customers which will in turn affect your sales.

If you really want to buy a used phone system, look for a trusted source such as the manufacturer itself or a licensed distributor. Do some research, look at what people are saying about a specific dealer, ask people about their opinions and look for a good track record from a dealer so that you can be sure that you will be getting a good deal for your money.

Ask about the warranty

Most used phone systems do not come with a warranty. Beware of old models that you can get off the Internet. These phone systems will usually cost you more than what you bargained for in terms of repairs, services and replacement parts. More often than not, manufacturers no longer offer warranties for older models.

Support and replacement parts

The same goes true for support and replacement parts. Before committing to a telephone system, ask the manufacturer if they still manufacture spare parts for your model. Support is also a crucial thing when it comes to phone system, brand new or not. You should be able to call someone and ask for help if something goes wrong. You need a business continuity plan. A reputable dealer should be able to give you support and even a limited warranty even if it’s just for the first year.

Let’s talk about tech support

Technology is not perfect. At one point or another, you will need help from professional technicians. You will need technical support to figure out what’s wrong with your system and ultimately fix it. New business telephone systems automatically come with technical support. Used ones rarely have technical support that is readily available.

So what happens to your business if you do not have technical support? You can have glitches in the system that could prove costly, you can have angry customers, productivity will go down and you will have unnecessary down time. These things will surely give your business a negative image and will affect your revenue. The best thing to do is to look for a supplier who can give you maintenance, service and technical support when you need them.

Phone functions

Another important thing to figure out are the phone functions that you need. It is advisable to make a list of what your business needs and what your employees need in order to be productive and get their job done.

Older models don’t have the same features as the new models have so you may have to compromise. If you need just a basic phone system, this is not really a big issue. If you need more advanced tools such as voicemail, data reporting, auto attendant, etc. then you have to be careful when choosing a system. Make sure that the model you choose will be able to help you improve your business.

Newer models can offer you features that older models can’t. These features will help you streamline your processes and help you earn more.


Regardless of whether you have a brand new system or a used one, it should be easy to install. It should also be user-friendly. It will only just be a nightmare of a system if you can’t figure out how to install and use it.

Be warned though that a used telephone system can cause some privacy issues if not installed properly. It can still use the previous configurations of the last owner. It is possible to reconfigure the system but in some cases, it cannot be done so you may not have any choice but to get a new system.

End Notes

You can definitely save money on a used business telephone system outright but what happens in the long run? You should factor in the cost of maintenance, repairs, parts replacements and technical services not to mention user-friendliness in the long run. How long will you be able to use the system before you experience any problems?

It is possible to get a good deal from a used business telephone system especially if you get it from a reputable supplier. If the supplier has certification then that’s even better. They can offer you after sales support.

The best route to go is to get a used phone system but with a monthly service plan. This way, you can get the best of both worlds. Most VoIP manufacturers have not opened their doors to used systems yet because the technology is still fairly new and affordable. Also, the prices won’t make much of a difference.

We will recommend that you buy a new system unless of course, your budget prevents you from doing so. We cannot stress enough how important it is to buy a second hand business telephone system from a certified and guaranteed company. This is the only way you can be sure that you will benefit from the system you are buying.

Author: Yazz

Yazz is a trained telecommunications engineer with a diploma in telecommunications. He has spent the last 15 years working for Telefonica, one of the largest telephone operators and mobile network providers in the world.